Florida Gators 2013 Football Schedule Released; Gators Keep LSU, Add Arkansas

The Florida Gators 2013 football schedule has been released and the debates have begun. Although, there weren’t really that many and all remains well in Gator Nation. Without delay, here’s what the Gators will face in 2013:

Will Muschamp - Florida Gators

August 31 – Toledo – Gainesville, FL
September 7 – Miami – Miami, FL
September 21 – Tennessee – Gainesville, FL
September 28 – Kentucky – Lexington, KY
October 5 – Arkansas – Gainesville, FL
October 12 – LSU – Baton Rouge, LA
October 19 – Missouri – Columbia, MO
November 2 – Georgia – Jacksonville, FL
November 9 – Vanderbilt – Gainesville, FL
November 16 – South Carolina – Columbia, SC
November 23 – Georgia Southern – Gainesville, FL
November 30 – Florida State – Gainesville, FL

Not many surprises and there really shouldn’t have been. This is the bridge season. 2012 was the first season of the 14-team SEC. 2013 is the bridge to the future. And 2014 should show us what to actually expect in the future. For now, things remain fairly typical. For example, Tennessee remains in the third-game-of-the-season spot, LSU is still on the schedule and in October, and Florida plays Georgia in Jacksonville right around the same time of year they always do.

There are some points of note though; the first being the bye week. In 2012, the Gators were off the week before facing LSU. At that point, Florida had played four games. That won’t be the case in 2013. The Gators first bye comes after just two games. BUT…there is a second bye in late October between the games against Missouri and Georgia. Thank the calendar for that. 2012 was one of those weird years during which September had five Saturdays. In 2013, that would be November.

For the second season–and for obvious reasons–the Gators get only two SEC West opponents on the schedule. There was wonder whether the annual contest with LSU would stop, but it hasn’t…yet. For 2013, the Tigers are still on the schedule. The Gators also get Arkansas, who will visit Gainesville just one week before the Gators travel to Baton Rouge. So Texas A&M was one and done. They’ll be back, but we won’t know when for a while now.

We knew about the out-of-conference schedule, so there are no surprises there. No surprises overall really. 2013 will come and go and the schedule will look similar to those of the past (or at least the one 14-team SEC schedule we have to compare it to). Now we wait for the 2014 one to be released…a year from now.

Predicting The 2012 SEC Football Season Game By Game (If Each Team Played 1,200 Games)

I guess it’s not that weird, but it is different. We here at The Bull Gator started this last season and figured we might as well continue. (We’re still not sure where our inspiration came from, but we’ve seen similar things done elsewhere, so thanks to anyone that may be doing something like this.) This is our way of predicting the 2012 SEC football season. It’s more than just win vs. loss. Instead, it’s how many times a particular team might beat another. Averages, if you will.

Instead of picking Team A over Team B, we tried to determine how many times we thought Team A would beat Team B if they played each other 100 times. While Team A may be heavily favored over Team B, there’s always that chance of an upset and we try to take that into account. Need an example? Here you go:

If the Florida Gators and Bowling Green Falcons played 100 times, you think the Gators would win 75 of those games. You feel the same way for each of the remaining 11 games on Florida’s schedule. That’s 12 matchups and 75 wins per game. 12 multiplied by 75 is 900; 900 divided by 100 (because in reality, the Gators don’t play each team 100 times; they play each team once) is 9. Therefore, based on your win number for each game, you believe Florida will end up with 9 victories in 2012 for a record of 9-3. Yes, you have technically predicted the Gators to win every game, but a 75% chance of winning each time out is far from perfect.

We set two rules for this exercise. One rule is obvious: A single game must have consistent results. If you believe Florida would beat Texas A&M 75 times, then you also believe Texas A&M would beat Florida 25 times. The other was set to force each of us to pick an overall winner: No matchup can be 50-50. You have to go one way or another even if your chosen mark is 51-49. Ultimately, we’re attempting to predict outcomes and there are no longer ties in college football.

Now that the lengthy (although much shorter than last year’s) explanation is over, here are the results. Discuss, agree with, argue against below.

A few notes:

• The highlighted numbers under the SEC East standings are there to show the only place in the entire standings where we disagreed with each other. Although Vanderbilt ends up fourth overall, individually Willy had them fifth behind Missouri.

• The highlighted schools under the SEC West standings are for the two national title contenders. We both ended up with Alabama ahead of LSU in the SEC West standings; however, if you look at just our picks, that’s not necessarily true. I give the edge to Bama in every game they play, while Willy has LSU beating Bama 55-45. The reason the Tide still come out on top for him is because of greater average confidence in their 11 wins than the Tigers’ 12.

• Finally, the highlighted numbers in the individual team schedules show the games we disagreed on from a win-loss standpoint. Last year, we didn’t disagree on a single game! That’s right, not one. This year there were six, four of which involved Tennessee. I’m not proud to say that in all four of those, I have the Vols coming out on top, but that doesn’t change the fact that we both think their probably a 6-6 team.

There you have it, our long-winded way of predicting the SEC in 2012.

Florida Gators Men’s Track & Field Win 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championship

On Saturday, the Florida Gators’ Men’s track and field team completed their dream season winning the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championship. It’s the first outdoor championship in school history. The title also marks the third of the season for Florida athletics and when added to the men’s NCAA Indoor Championship is a remarkable feat.

The Gators beat out the LSU Tigers and Texas A&M Aggies for the title. It marks the first time since 2003 that one program won both the outdoor and indoor championships (that was Arkansas; they also did it in 2005, but the NCAA no longer acknowledges their outdoor title from that season).

After winning the indoor championship for the past three seasons, the outdoor one always seemed just out of reach. Finishing in the top three in 2009, 2010 and 2011 was impressive, but not what the Gators wanted. It all came together this year and Florida became only the sixth program ever to win both championships in one academic year.

Congrats to the Gators’ third national championship squad of the 2011-12 season.

Florida No. 3 In USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Baseball Poll; Gators Rise Two Spots

The Florida Gators’ baseball team rose two spots in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Baseball Poll after a 3-1 week. The Gators three wins were all unnervingly close, but enough to help the rise in the poll. The two programs higher than 38-14 Florida in the top 25 are the 40-10 Florida State Seminoles and 38-13 South Carolina Gamecocks. Interestingly enough – and a little fact to keep us on the positive side of our hopes for the Gators’ progress through the postseason – Florida is 5-1 against those two teams.

The top 10 also includes SEC foes Kentucky at No. 5 and LSU at No. 9. Texas A&M brings added strength to next season’s schedule as the Aggies currently come in at No. 8. Arkansas and Ole Miss add to the conference’s collection among the top 25.

Florida Gators Maintain No. 5 Ranking In USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Baseball Poll

A 2-1 record against the nation’s No. 6 team – the Kentucky Wildcats – doesn’t get you a higher ranking, but it doesn’t get you a lower one either. The Florida Gators maintained the No. 5 ranking in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Baseball Poll after taking two of three from their SEC rivals. Winning the series over the Wildcats was a plus, but not big enough of one to push the Gators past fellow SEC teams South Carolina and LSU – the No. 3 and No. 4 squads – although we’re quickly approaching the point in the season when we stop paying attention to the rankings.

Florida wasn’t the only team to maintain it’s ranking; the entire top five held onto their spots. Kentucky fell to No. 9 after the series loss, while Arkansas and Ole Miss gave the SEC two more teams in the top 25. Despite the great number of SEC teams currently ranked, the Gators will close out the regular season facing two of the unranked ones in Mississippi State and Auburn.

Baseball Recap: Arkansas 3 – Florida 1; Gators Offense Struggles In Series Finale

The offense didn’t return on Sunday as the No. 2 Florida Gators baseball team fell 3-1 to the No. 17 Arkansas Razorbacks in their series finale. For the three-game weekend series, the Gators totaled five runs and in two of the three games only managed five hits. On Friday, those five hits were enough to secure a victory. On Sunday, they were not.

Florida wasn’t able to figure out much of what Arkansas starting pitcher D.J. Baxendale threw their way. In the bottom of the eighth, the Gators did manage to score a run against the Razorbacks starter to tie the game at 1-1, but that was all he would give up. In that same inning, Florida left two runners on base.

Things aren’t getting better for the 33-12 (12-9 SEC) Gators, which isn’t what you want to hear at this point of the season. They are sure to drop in the polls when they are released on Monday; a 2-3 week will do that. Regardless of where Florida is ranked, the bigger concern is the offense. The Gators have scored six or more runs only five times in their last 13 games. To make matters worse, in the five losses incurred during those 13 games, their opponents scored five runs or less each time. A little offense could have gone a long way in any of those defeats.

The Gators don’t get much of a break despite not playing another game until Thursday. That night, Florida starts a three-game series at No. 3 Kentucky.

Baseball previews and recaps are sponsored by Ben Versnik and Advocare – a world-class nutrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy and sports performance.

Baseball Recap: Arkansas 5 – Florida 1; Razorbacks Even Series With Gators

The No. 17/22 Arkansas Razorbacks defeated the No. 2/5 Florida Gators 5-1 on Saturday night to even their three-game weekend series at 1-1. The Gators tallied nine hits (four more than they totaled in their Friday night victory), but left nine men on base, leading to only one run scored during the entire contest.

Runs have been hard to come by recently. The Gators have put men on base, but have struggled to bring them home consistently. That trend continued in the Saturday loss to the Razorbacks. Junior catcher Mike Zunino and junior pitcher/designated hitter Brian Johnson went 5-for-8 between them, but were only able to drive in the one run (Johnson drove in senior center fielder Daniel Pigott in the bottom of the third).

The Gators and Razorbacks will close out their series at 3:30pm on Sunday. The game can be seen on ESPN. It would be a great time for the Florida bats to come to life.

Baseball previews and recaps are sponsored by Ben Versnik and Advocare – a world-class nutrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy and sports performance.

Baseball Recap: Florida 3 – Arkansas 2; Gators Takes Series Opener Over Razorbacks

Bats were quiet all night, but it only took one inning for the No. 2/5 Florida Gators to come to life and get the 3-2 victory over the No. 17/22 Arkansas Razorbacks. The Gators had five hits on Friday night, but four of those came in the bottom of the sixth inning when Florida scored all of its runs.

Arkansas starting pitcher Ryne Stanek was working on a no-hitter in the sixth when the Gators finally came to life. Luckily for Florida, those three runs were all they would need. The Razorbacks managed eight hits, but only two runs on the night. Four Gators pitchers kept Arkansas batters in check with junior starter Hudson Randall getting the win to improve to 4-1 on the season and junior reliever Austin Maddox recording his 12th save.

The 33-10 (12-7 SEC) Gators and 29-13 (9-10 SEC) Razorbacks will do it all over again on Saturday at 7:00pm.

Baseball previews and recaps are sponsored by Ben Versnik and Advocare – a world-class nutrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy and sports performance.

Baseball Preview: Florida Gators Vs. Arkansas Razorbacks – April 27-29, 2012

The homestand comes to an end this weekend. The No. 2/5 Florida Gators host the No. 17/22 Arkansas Razorbacks in a three-game weekend series beginning Friday night before the Gators head out to the road during the first week of May.

The Facts

Opponent: Arkansas Razorbacks
When: Friday, April 27 – 7:00pm; Saturday, April 28 – 7:00pm; Sunday, April 29 – 3:30pm
Where: Gainesville, FL
Broadcast: Game Three – ESPN
Records: Florida: 32-10 (11-7 SEC); Arkansas: 29-12 (9-9 SEC)
Rankings: Florida: 2 (USA Today/ESPN), 5 (Baseball America); Arkansas: 17 (USA Today/ESPN), 22 (Baseball America)
Current Streak: Florida: W1; Arkansas: W2

The Preview

The Gators head into the weekend fresh off of a 1-1 midweek. The record should have been 2-0, but 1-1 is better than 0-2, so we’ll end that there and move on quickly. The focus shifts to three games against a talented Razorbacks squad. Not only is Arkansas a formidable opponent, they are a ranked one. Not only are they a ranked one, they are a ranked SEC one. The importance and aura of this series only increase. To amplify it all even more, Florida needs to build momentum throughout this series with Kentucky up next on the schedule.

The regular season is inching toward its end, so if you haven’t been paying attention, now is the time to start. The Gators talent level is something special and if they can find that early season magic they once had, we could be in for a real treat come postseason time. It’s a great time to be a Florida fan.

Baseball previews and recaps are sponsored by Ben Versnik and Advocare – a world-class nutrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy and sports performance.

Arkansas Hires Former Louisville And Michigan State Head Coach John L. Smith

Less than two weeks after firing Bobby Petrino, the Arkansas Razorbacks have found their new head coach. Former Louisville and Michigan State head coach John L. Smith will hold the same job at Arkansas, but it may be short lived. Smith signed only a 10-month contract with the school, leading many to believe he’s merely a stepping stone to the next long-term hire.

Smith is best known for his time with the Cardinals from 1998-2002. Over five seasons, he went 41-21 with a high-point of 11-2 in 2001. After the 2002 season, Smith left Louisville for Michigan State, paving the way for Petrino to take over as the head coach of the Cardinals. The two worked together numerous times over the years before coming back together at Arkansas in 2009. For the past three seasons, Smith was the Razorbacks special teams coach under Petrino.

In early December, Weber State – where he played quarterback and linebacker from 1968-1970 – hired Smith to be their head coach; little did they know then they’d be hiring a man that would only last a few months. While Petrino found himself without a job, Smith suddenly found himself with another head coaching offer. Smith left Weber State without ever coaching a game – not something that will please many Wildcats fans.

Smith takes over a program that seemed ready to compete for a national title before Petrino wrote a painful end to the book of his life at Arkansas. At 63, it is possible to think Williams could have a number of years ahead of him as the Razorbacks head coach, but with only a 10-month contract, Arkansas may be looking for someone else when the 2012 season comes to an end.

Without the Razorbacks on the schedule in 2012, Florida may never face Smith as a head coach in the SEC.

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